By Bianca Scartabello
Last month in Part 1, we discussed how the length of your headline may actually affect its effectiveness. With so many headlines in a Twitterfeed, it is important that your headline is short, sweet, and to the point – with a powerful message! It is your personal goal to stand out among the rest.
Now that you are educated on length, it is time to move on to the next important factor. It is a MUST to keep your goals in mind before you go ahead and write a boring headline. What are you goals? You want to provide the following to your followers:
- Exclusive information
It may seem impossible to hit all of these targets in only 8 words or less, but these are the ingredients to a powerful headline. If you want readers to click right now, SAY IT. If you have exclusive information to share, SHOW IT. If your blog post has valuable information, PROVE IT.
What better way is there to learn than to learn by example? Taking our Insurance Awareness Day blog post example from last month, let’s look at a few headlines that would work:
- What Everybody Should Know About Insurance Awareness Day
- How to Celebrate Insurance Awareness Day, the Right Way!
- Celebrate Insurance Awareness Day and Save on Your Premium!
The first headline’s goal is to draw curiosity from the readers.
The second headline’s goal is to provide valuable information, using the “How to” technique.
The third headline’s goal is to prove that by doing something, the reader can reap benefits.
As a whole, these headlines are also 8 words or less, provide a sense of urgency and prove that the content is filled with unique, valuable content. Thumbs up!
As Twitter continues to grow, it becomes more and more crucial for internet marketers to learn how to properly utilize its website. Though we have come quite a ways from newspaper and magazine headlines, we can STILL take a few tips out of past playbooks! Short, concise, urgent and valuable headlines will always be the best way to draw attention. Now, it is up to you to follow these tips and prove their effectiveness to yourself. Good luck!
By Bianca Scartabello
Twitter feed is rolling, headlines are posted, and follower count is going up – looks like everything is going according to plan, right? Well, not always. Sure, you may have posted that great blog post that you wrote about Insurance Awareness Day, but how do you know that people are ACTUALLY clicking and reading it? According to some studies, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will actually click and read the content. What gives?
Let’s talk about writing great headlines and how to come up with the best Twitter headlines. This week, we will begin with a discussion about the length.
Yes, you have 140 characters but that DOES NOT mean that you have to use all 140! In fact, studies have proven again and again that headlines that are 8 words or less have the greatest success. Also, what if people want to RT and add commentary to your tweet? You want to allow them enough room to do so, right? Even if the title of your blog post is longer than average, it is important that you maneuver and change it on Twitter. The longer the headline, the more time it takes a reader to lose interest and continue to scroll. In “short,” SHORT HEADLINES ARE POWERFUL!
Keep in mind that your short and sweet headlines should also be:
Now that you are aware of the most effective length of a Twitter headline, you may want to learn about your GOALS when writing a headline. Be sure to check back for Part 2 in the coming weeks. You will not want to miss out on these headline writing tips!
By Bianca Scartabello
We hope that you have enjoyed the month of October and Halloween last week. Truth be told, many of us enjoy the spooks and scares that come along with this time of year. In light of this, I decided to focus on FEAR. This week, I want you all to face your fears in the blogging department. Yes, you heard me correctly!
For some, blogging is frightening. Writing is definitely not for everyone, which is one of the main reasons why insurance agents and business owners will not take blogging into their own hands. You may fear not having anything important to say. This type of fear is enough to turn anyone off from taking initiative, sitting down and blogging. Why do we tend to set ourselves up for failure? You are an insurance expert… you have plenty to share with your clients!
To lessen your fear of blogging, I have put together a quick list of 5 tips for all the beginners out there. It may seem scary to start, but you are sure to conquer your fear if you…
… Start small.
Blogging five days a week? Now THAT is intimidating! If you are new to the blogging world, starts with one post a week. 500 words? Slow down! A blog post can be anywhere from 100-300 words, or as long as it takes to get a solid point across. Do not let numbers frighten you. If you prefer to write a post that is only 100 words, once a week, that is where you should begin. Overwhelming yourself will only lead to procrastination. The key is to write quality content, not a large quantity of content.
…Blog about what you know.
If you do not have a full understanding about the topic you are blogging about, it will most likely show. You want to sound credible, so stick to what you know! If you are interested in learning more about a topic and blogging about it, take twenty minutes or so to research.
…Write in a conversational tone.
Some writers prefer to sound professional when writing blogs and articles, while others take a much more conversational tone. Personally, I prefer to be conversational. I believe that many readers enjoy this tone because it is relaxed and easy to read. If you are worried about sounding too “boring,” just start to write as you would speak to someone. Chances are, you can make it sound great and you will be able to get all your thoughts on the Word document without over thinking your grammar. You can always go back and edit!
…Create an editorial calendar.
Plan your blog posts ahead to spare yourself the time you spend brainstorming each week. If you have four solid topics for each week of the month, you are off to a good start.
…Take turns blogging.
If blogging is too much to tackle alone, enlist the help of others in the office. Chances are, each person will have a different point of view, writing style and unique ideas to bring to the blog. This is an easy way to get great content up without putting the entire burden on one individual.
So; are you ready to jump on the blogging hayride this fall? I sure hope so!
There aren’t many marketing teams who haven’t jumped on the business blog train. Not only can you create content for sharing across social media, your business can improve upon current SEO efforts and become a thought leader in your industry. Whether your company focuses on small business insurance or errors and omissions insurance, you can be sure a blog is a good idea. Building an audience is one challenge many businesses face and overcoming that obstacle can be tricky. These 4 tips will help you build your blog’s audience.
Find Your Niche
Find your online niche and join groups that are directly related to it. You can do this by incorporating keywords and anchor links into your posts and searching for groups and blogs with these same terms. Use the key terms of your business insurance company as a starting point in your search. Not only will you get to network with people in your niche and industry but often times those people become readers of your blog.
- Tip: Instead of targeting one or two specific keywords in each post, create a hierarchical category structure of top keywords and phrases to create a broader topic based blog while still incorporating content loosely targeting specific keywords.
What you write and how you write are what keeps readers coming back to your blog for more. However, posting on your blog once a month is insufficient to really gain traction. You need to post high-quality content frequently – whether that’s once every couple days or once a week (at the minimum). This also means focusing consistently on your particular audience. While it’s okay to branch out every now and then, keep your content geared toward those who would be regular readers.
- Tip: Develop an editorial calendar with when blog posts need to go live, the key concept of each, and keywords each post will focus on. A schedule such as this one will keep
Producing valuable content that is informational and interesting is the most important part of a business blogging. “Content is king” is one phrase that has been floating around for a reason. Your content has to motivate readers to comment, share, keep reading, etc. Current, insightful and relevant information to your industry is what will be shared. Make sure your blog content meets those requirements.
- Tip: Each blog post needs to have the appropriate “share” buttons for social media channels and the option to subscribe to your RSS feed.
If you’re considering a business blog, chances are you also use various social media channels. Use these networks to spread the word about each blog post. You can also incorporate these posts into your email marketing campaigns. Link to other articles you’ve written using specific keywords or phrases to promote other posts and encourage your visitor to keep reading.
- Tip: Space out when you promote the new blog posts on different channels. Doing so will give your post a longer life-span and because each network has optimal post times, you can maximize your impressions by posting at those specific times.
Many businesses are under the assumption that blogging is only for certain industries, or that only the blogs that provide certain information, will generate traffic. People are searching Google, Bing and other search engines daily for information of all kinds, ranging from SEO optimization to various types of business insurance. Having a blog that fits your industry and business’s niche and embraces keywords, engagement and sharing is the best way to generate new readers and build a fan base from current ones.
Author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as commercial insurance and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com.
By Bianca Scartabello
Summer is here! Sure, it may be tempting to put away your laptop and put your blogging efforts on hold but that would only hurt your insurance marketing strategy. Instead, you should consider getting the best of both worlds. Have you thought about working outdoors?
Whether you are blogging or even working on your agency’s social media strategy, it doesn’t hurt to juice up your laptop’s battery and sit outside for a few hours (just remember to sit in the shade to avoid the sun’s glare!) Here are five reasons you should be working outside this month:
#1: Boosts inspiration and creativity. New sounds, new sites, new colors, new atmosphere… new ideas! Sometimes all it takes is a little change to get your creative juices flowing.
#2: Change of scenery. Staring at the same screen in the same setting each and every day is not exactly inspiring. While routine is great, this break from the indoors will allow you to think outside of the box. For example, maybe you are blogging about home insurance. In the office, you may be struggling for a topic. However, outside your home, you may be looking around and notice that your garden needs some care. Now you have something great to blog about! Gardening and yard care tips are great for home insurance posts around this time of year.
#3: Fresh air. The office tends to get a little stuffy sometimes, don’t you think? Even a half hour outdoors will do wonders for your overall mood and attitude. Instead of getting frustrated with a blog topic, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feels good, right?
#4: Lessen the chance of procrastination. You may be working indoors, but are you being productive? On a beautiful day, you are most likely staring out the window! Get the best of both worlds and you will be less likely to put off the five blogs you need to write.
#5: Peace and quiet. If you blog out of a noisy office, chances are you usually turn to your headphones to get away. If you find a remote place outside, you will not have to worry about the constant chatter or your blaring headphones. Just you, your laptop and the sound of nature!
These benefits sound tempting, right? We thought so! The key is to NOT get distracted while you are outside. Take advantage of this time to enjoy the fresh air but remember that you still need to get your work done; your strategy depends on it!